Archive for the ‘Innovation’ Category

Elevate TechFest 2018 Launch

Tech leaders, senior government officials, investors, CEOs, and strategic partners gathered on April 17, 2018 at the Shopify Toronto office for the launch of Elevate TechFest 2018.

Elevate TechFest is a unique four day city-wide tech and innovation festival taking place in Toronto from September 24-27, 2018 which will bring together 10,000 guests, 300 speakers, and 250 venues to explore emerging technologies such as blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and FinTech and relevant topics on data privacy and digital inclusiveness.

Formerly called Elevate Toronto, Elevate TechFest provides an unparalleled collaborative and educational platform for Canada’s booming high tech startup ecosystem. According to Razor Suleman, co-founder and CEO of Elevate TechFest, the new name reflects Elevate’s desire to build on last year’s momentum, “to disrupt together as a country, and demonstrate to a global audience that Canada is a powerhouse of innovation and technology.”

Razor Suleman, co-founder and CEO of Elevate TechFest, Elevate 2018 Launch at Shopify, Toronto

The Elevate 2018 launch event announced headline speakers, community initiatives, and new partnerships. Last year, Elevate featured top speakers such as the godfathers of artificial intelligence Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio, renowned investor Vinod Khosla, CBC Dragon and Clearbanc co-founder Michele Romanow, and many more. The initial line up of speakers announced at the Elevate 2018 launch includes Former VP of the US and co-founder of Generation Investment Al Gore, founder and CEO of Bumble Whitney Wolfe Herd, co-founder and COO of Cloudflare Michelle Zatlyn, CEO of the MaRS Discovery District Yung Wu, and managing partner at CasaVerde Capital Karan Wadhera.

The Elevate Team, Elevate 2018 Launch at Shopify, Toronto

This year, the festival will feature all new content tracks and will launch new features including a corporate buyer zone, one-on-one meetings with investors as well as an expanded Elevate-R Pitch, and a March-madness style pitch competition showcasing the best Canadian scaleup companies.

Ontario Budget 2018 Highlights

The Ontario 2018 Budget, tabled on March 28, 2018, projects a growing deficit over the next three years and is predicted to resume a downward trend in 2022 with accumulated deficit expected to decline from 23.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017-18 to 22.1% by 2022.

The Ontario Budget proposes several measures and investments that impact businesses, including:

Innovation

  • An increase to the Ontario Research and Development Tax Credit (ORDTC) from 3.5% to 5.5% for eligible R&D expenditures over $1M (per taxation year) incurred on or after March 28, 2018.
  • Enhancements to the Ontario Innovation Tax Credit (OITC) for eligible R&D expenditures incurred on or after March 28, 2018 based on the ratio of R&D expenditures to gross revenues. Companies with a ratio of R&D expenditures to gross revenue of:
    • 10% or less will continue to claim the OITC at a rate of 8%;
    • 10-20% will be eligible for an enhanced OITC rate that will increase from 8% to 12% on a straight-line basis; and
    • 20% or more will be eligible to claim the OITC at a rate of 12%.
  • Expansions to the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (OIDMTC) eligibility criteria to include broadcaster purchased or licensed film/television websites that host film, television, or Internet production content not previously assessed (before Nov 1, 2017).
  • A review of various tax incentives implemented in other jurisdictions such as preferential corporate income tax rates (i.e., patent boxes), tax refunds, tax deductions, and exemptions with the intention of developing a provincial incentive to encourage Intellectual Property (IP).
  • An additional $50M over 10 years for the New Transformative Technology Partnerships Fund for businesses, SMEs, and scale‐ups as well as post-secondary and research institutions to collaborate on new dynamic products and services in artificial intelligence (AI), 5G wireless communications, autonomous vehicles, advanced computing, and quantum technologies.

Business Growth

  • In parallel with the 2018 Federal Budget proposal to phase-out or grind the $500,000 small-business limit, the Ontario Budget proposes to phase out the small-business limit on a straight-line basis for CCPCs (and associated corporations) earning between $50,000 and $150,000 of passive investment income in taxation years beginning after 2018.
  • Ending the electricity debt retirement charge (DRC) for mid-sized commercial and industrial non-ICI or non-RRP, Class B consumers as of April 1, 2018.
  • An additional $100M over 10 years for the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) and the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) to support regional economic development by creating jobs, attracting private sector investment and promoting innovation, and encouraging collaboration and cluster development.
  • An additional $500M over 10 years for the New Economy Fund for investing in priority sectors such as advanced manufacturing, information and communication technology (ICT), life sciences, and clean-tech.
  • An additional $85M over 3 years for the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund to stimulate economic development and diversification across the region.
  • An additional $100M over 10 years for a new Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area Fund to support SMEs in the GTA and Hamilton area.

Export Market

  • Work to implement a Global Trade Strategy to diversify and promote trade in Ontario. This will include the Accelerate to International Markets program, the Global Growth Fund, and the Magnet Export Business Portal.

Startup Support

  • An additional $85M over 10 years for a new Venture Technology Fund to support a select number of very high‐potential, fast‐growing firms in expanding to become globally competitive.
  • An additional $15M over the next 3 years to NextAI, a Toronto based accelerator for early stage startups that leverage AI technologies.

Workforce Development

  • An additional $170M over 3 years for the new Ontario Apprenticeship Strategy to support transition into apprenticeship from high school, make the system easier to navigate, and to improve access for apprentices to high‐quality jobs upon completion.
  • Transforming the Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit (ATTC) into the new Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (GAGE) to encourage employers to ensure that apprentices complete their training.

The Artificial Intelligence Revolution: New Challenges & Opportunities

Due to its ability to substantially improve productivity and boost economic output, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is considered to be the next big technological revolution with the potential to increase economic growth rates by a weighted average of 1.7% and profitability rates by 38% across a variety of industries by 2035.

Read our latest Newsletter to explore the Canadian and global financial AI landscape and to learn more about how AI can maximize labor and capital capacity in almost every industry.

Based on a comparison of baseline growth in 2035 with an AI steady state scenario where AI has been absorbed into the economy

 

Elevate Toronto Tech Festival

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NorthBridge Consultants is excited to be attending the 3-day Elevate Toronto tech festival which will showcase the best in Canadian innovation.

Elevate Toronto is the city’s newest technology innovation festival and, this year, will focus on disruptive technologies that are expected to change the way we live and work.

With over 100 impressive keynote speakers and numerous opportunities for curated high-value networking, the festival will feature leaders in Artificial Intelligence, fintech & blockchain, and much more.

The festival is expected to draw over 5000 attendees including founders looking to scale up, investors searching for the next great start up, talent searching for the next big opportunity, and corporate innovators looking for professional development and networking.

Elevate Toronto is a non-profit organization, in partnership with the City of Toronto, and is led by TechToronto, MaRS, #movethedial, OneEleven, Cossette Communications and the Spotlight Awards.

The rapid speed of innovation and the development of disruptive technologies over the past few decades has radically transformed the way businesses, individuals, and machines operate and interact. Thus, disruptive technologies have deeply permeated global markets and industry applications. CEO and co-founder of Elevate Toronto, Razor Suleman, believes that “It’s our time” as “startups and corporate leaders are aligning with the government’s innovation agenda creating the perfect circumstances for accelerated growth.”

Festival Schedule:

September 12: Elevate Main Stage & Elevate Celebrate
September 13: Elevate Educate & King West Social
September 14: NewCo Toronto & Spotlight Awards; Timmy Awards

Get your Tickets today!

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$1.26B Canada Strategic Innovation Fund Launched

Manufacturers and technology firms who invest in innovation can now apply for repayable and non-repayable funding of up to 50% of eligible project costs under the recently launched Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF). 

If your company is investing in R&D or expansion, the SIF can help support the costs of direct labour, subcontractors and consultants, as well as overhead, direct materials and equipment, land and building and other direct costs.

Launched on July 5th 2017 with the objective of spurring Canadian innovation, the SIF provides funding under four streams:

  • Stream 1 (R&D)- Encourage R&D that will accelerate technology transfer and commercialization
  • Stream 2 (Expansion)- Facilitate the growth and expansion of firms in Canada
  • Stream 3 (Global Investment)- Attract and retain large scale investments to Canada
  • Stream 4 (Collaboration)- Advance R&D through collaboration between universities, non-profit organizations and the private sector.

With a $1.26B budget allocated for five years, the SIF provides a good alternative to IRAP funding. It consolidates and simplifies the previous Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative, Technology Demonstration Program, Automotive Innovation Fund and Automotive Supplier Innovation Program.

Contact us to today for a free, no obligation consultation to find out how the SIF can help you maximize your R&D and business growth initiatives.

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    We offer opinions and insider information that can provide a pulse on government initiatives, the health of the Canadian economy, and firsthand thoughts from Canadian business owners.

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